There’s no denying the excessive nature of the blogging and YouTube industry. Whether constantly trying out new products, so you can share your favourites with your followers or buying/being gifted clothing for outfit photos, there’s something a bit troublesome about it all. And don’t get me started on hauls… (do people still do those?) The promotion of fast fashion and constant consumption has got me thinking… Are we hitting a boiling point with blogging and consumerism? Can blogging and more specifically, fashion, beauty, lifestyle blogging, and sustainability go hand in hand?
While I try to encourage more sustainable choices without alienating my audience, I’m well aware that part of my job promotes a lifestyle of consumption. The main reason I’ve avoided discussing consumerism up to this point is because I didn’t know how to approach the subject without sounding hypocritical. After all, I’m occasionally sent products to try, I enjoy shopping, eating out and travelling to far-flung locations, all of which aren’t doing our planet any favours… But I’m becoming more and more interested in sustainability and educating myself. There have been some small changes I’ve made over the past five years, but I know it can’t stop there.
There are many local designers that have sustainable practices in place. Rather than placing huge ASOS hauls, many New Zealand bloggers are consciously building wardrobes of investment pieces for the long-haul. I choose to support brands that have sustainability at their core, whether reusing fabrics and materials or only putting out capsule collections. Some of my favourites include: Reformation, Kowtow, Twenty Seven Names. Buying secondhand is a good way to reduce your carbon footprint.
There are many bloggers and content creators who talk about sustainability in ways that I admire without being condescending. I don’t really follow beauty YouTubers, but was seriously impressed with Samantha Ravndahl’s video on deciding to no longer accept PR packages. She talks about the industry’s problems in a way that’s approachable and non-judgmental. Seriously, go watch it!
Of course, we’re all still learning and doing our best both as content creators and consumers. As a consumer, I try to always research brands before choosing to buy from them. Recently, there’s been lots of talk about makeup companies who test on animals (a lot more than I realised, actually!) I’ve chosen to no longer buy from these companies because there are plenty of ethical companies whose business practices sit well with me. I’m also working on only buying what I need, donating clothing I’ve outgrown and repurposing items in my closet. It’s unnecessary to buy new, so I’m also renting from Lend the Label this summer.
Nobody is perfect and you don’t need to know everything to make improvements and live with less. All I know is that we urgently need to make better choices and know it’d be irresponsible of me not to bring it up on my platform. I’d love to hear your thoughts on consumerism in this industry, too.